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Thursday, 6 May 2010

Election Night

Ah, dear friends you are looking at your PCs and not the interminable pre-closure of the polling stations telelvision "analysis" of what we might have done so thank you again for dropping by this blog.

Something of great nostalgia and the very latest news all wrapped up tonight.

The news is that yesterday we did in fact start our new Aircoach service from Dalkey to Dublin Airport (photo above), the one which has caused so much upset in the press. Regular readers will recall that Ireland is a regulated environment and you need a licence to run a bus or coach service. Both we and a local operator, Patton, had applied for a licence. He applied first so was offered it first, but declined. We applied second and when he declined it was offered to us instead.

Meanwhile Mr Patton started running anyway, and the Police and the other authorities have declined to do much about it. During this time transport matters have transferred to a new National Transport Authority.

We rather hesitated about starting, since the existence of an unlicensed operator rather makes a mockery of the system and guarantees at least some revenue abstraction. We asked the authorities to enforce the law to allow us to start properly but sadly nothing happened. Meantime the Patton company made quite a lot of noise about a friendly local Irish company being downtrodden by a foreign mutlinational corporation.

Licences offered in Ireland have a date by which operations must commence or they lapse. It has always been our desire to comply with the law so we thought we had better start anyway, which we did yesterday. The day, you will recall, was the occasion when Irish airspace was once against closed due to the danger from volcanic ash! No matter, we carried quite a few passengers (some both ways!).

No doubt there will be another dose of "David and Goliath" in the media but we have played this exactly "by the book" and am delighted to share this all with you.

And then the nostalgia - following my recent story Trevor Wright has kindly sent me a copy of his new book Moving Comfortably Ahead which pictorially charts the history of Capital Citybus, its predecessors and successors in 387 colour pictures. So many things I had forgotten! So thank you Trevor, and if you would like a copy please support this venture which is courtesy Jim Blake at 8, The Rowans, London, N13 5AD - £16.95.

Now I am not usually able to predict the next blog date but rest assured you're on a safe bet for Sunday. That is the day that my close colleagues in First run the Bristol 10k in aid of the Leukaemia and Lymphoma charity you all having raised over £22,000 for them. The event finishes before midday and Nicola Shaw and I have to be on a plane to Aberdeen by tea time. There does remain a good chance that photographic evidence of the noble FirstGroup directors and managers in action together with their supporting crew bus will be on line before it is dark.



  1. So as Patton are so against foreign corporations in Ireland they operate their services with Bombradier products??